Success! You’ve reached the top of the mountain! You’ve submitted your taxes! You ate that entire cheeseburger! There are many things in life that have an obvious end and definition of success. But what about your career? What about your business? These experiences have arbitrary definitions of success and take some work on the backend to figure out for yourself. So where do you start?
We sat down with Julie Menden, Leadership & High Performance Coach & Speaker and owner of Julie Menden, LLC, to discuss the process of defining success and how going through that exercise can help you be more successful. Julie supports leaders, business owners, and their teams in overcoming stress and overwhelm in their careers/businesses, helping them to live and lead more intentionally, align with their strengths, and reach their potential.
Q: Why is it important to define success for yourself and your business?
Defining success provides a roadmap to where you’re headed. Each person has their own definition of success, and for me, it's crucial that it feels aligned with how I desire to live my life and create the results I want. When I define clearly what success looks like, it also serves as a guide to allow me to know if I'm making choices in alignment with where I want to be.
Q: Can your definition of success change over time? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?
Absolutely the definition of success can change. Mine has changed many times. I think your definition varies based on what season of life you are in, and what you value most in that season. I actually think what keeps people stuck in life a lot, is this version of success that they once created in their head, that no longer feels aligned to them and who they are, so they feel conflicted and stuck as they aren't sure how/if they can redefine it. I think we should reassess our definition and be really honest with ourselves.
Q: What are some best practices when defining success for yourself as an individual?
The first thing is actually to sit down and define what success looks like. Start with the big picture and then break it down into what success looks like in relationships, health, business, etc. Include both tangible things (metrics, goals, etc.) and then also the intangible like how I want to feel and show up as the person who is reaching that success. It's also essential to plan to check in frequently with this to make sure you’re tracking toward these goals or if an adjustment is needed.
Q: Once you've defined what success means, what's next?
Once I've defined what success looks like, it's time to make it happen. The reflection on the definition of success is the "insight", the actual goal setting and road mapping is the "action". Setting the tangible goals that support that success, and then creating the priorities, timelines, and roadmap to achieve those goals.
Once these are defined, revisit them frequently, at least monthly and quarterly. I typically write them down in my planner and business plans for the year so I can revisit them. A key thing that a lot of people miss is starting the year with a vision, but never going back to check in on progress.
Q: How and when do you communicate your definition of success? To whom?
I do it at the start of the year for myself. I communicate it to my husband, my coach, mentors, and the different masterminds and programs I am in that support and hold me accountable in my business. As I expand and grow my team, it also includes them.
Julie’s final thoughts
Take the time to do the work. Get really clear on who you are within that definition, and what success looks like from a macro perspective in your life, as well as those micro-moments. Allow yourself to pivot, evolve, re-evaluate, and change. Allow the definition to change, grow, or expand as you do.
Have you determined what success looks like to you and your business? Reach out to Purpose Jobs today to tell that story.